All right, I did not mean to let this much time go by between my posts regarding the Miss SL Tropics pageant. o.o
The sim filled up very quickly on Sunday; the event did not officially start until 12 noon SLT but ASpiRE Isle was packed to capacity before 11 a.m. The contestants weren’t required to be there until 11 a.m., but I’m glad I decided to go to the site a half hour before then; when I arrived, we were *already* experiencing lag due to the load. 😮
Thankfully, the lag was manageable because the limit was at around 55 people. (I recall being in the SL4B sims with as much as 81 people at a time; the lag at that event was of a magnitude I’d not witnessed before and nor since.) I am quite pleased to report that I never did fall off the stage, not even once, which really is a miracle in my opinion.
The first half of the competition involved three fashion segments: Swimwear, Casual, and Formal. The contestants had a special group IM session held all throughout the competition; the organizers used this channel to communicate with us, helping us with our marks and timing. Right at the beginning of the show, the session was full of nervous chatter! Even after the show had begun, we continued to use the group IM, expressing nervousness and encouragement to one another. It was after the formal event that the IM had begun to slow down; I think we were all so relieved at having finished our three runs that we were all kind of just sitting back quietly, hehe.
All right, so what did I wear? Here we go:
Out of all my three outfit themes, I especially wanted the swimwear outfit to reflect the fact that I hail from Hawaii. 😀 I hadn’t realized just how challenging it was going to be, finding a swimsuit that met all of the criteria I’d mentally listed as requirements: it needed to cover up (no excessive exposure of buttcheeks, crotch, and/or boobs), it needed to look tropical, it needed to be in a color that would contrast nicely with my skintone, and for crying out loud… it needed to not have that goddamn dreadful texture bleed right at the thighs. I gotta tell you, that texture bleed bug is really annoying.
The swimsuit I ultimately ended up wearing is a bikini set from Artilleri called Palekaiko. So far I have been digging the Hawaiian print stuff that comes out of Artilleri; the placement of the excellent textures on pieces with modern cuts (i.e., the halter tops and button-down shirts) really gives the clothing a feel of authenticity. I can totally imagine some local Hawaiian resident putting on one of these items in RL to go to a party or what-have-you, myself included. Another thing about the Palekaiko bikini that pleased me is it’s combination of colors: the light background contrasts nicely with the brown tone of my skin, and the red hibiscus print stood out nicely against the vivid blues of the pageant staging.
What I especially loved about my swimwear outfit were the accessories I’d found at Aitui. The necklace and bracelet I am wearing in the image above are actually kukui nut leis, which are very popular in Hawaii. Aitui actually sells these items as a necklace and an anklet; I simply modified the attachment point for the anklet so that it would go around my wrist, instead.
The blossom tucked above my ear is a common variation of the fragrant plumeria flower. Plumeria trees can be found all over the place on the Big Island of Hawaii. Wearing a solitary plumeria blossom tucked in the hair above the ear, or using the flower to adorn a ponytail or updo, is a very common practice here, and the placement of the flower is also often used to indicate one’s status as being single or not (much like wearing a ring on either your left or right hand). I was tickled to find that the owner of Aitui took this into consideration and packaged two versions of each color blossom: one is labeled “I’m Single”, which will attach above your right ear, and the other is labeled “I’m Taken” and will attach above your left ear. Nice touch, eh? Needless to say, Aitui is now one of my Must Visit stores in SL. 😀
Other items included with this outfit: Grace heels in Pearl from Maitreya, Katie hair in Black from ETD, and Manicure 04 from =RaC=, which is on the glove layer.
We were told that this category was called “Classy Casual”, and honestly, I was a bit flummoxed as to how I should convey a tropical “feel” for this outfit. I was originally going to wear the Auntie Elsie dress from Artilleri, which again has a great Hawaiian print texture. If there’s anything I dislike about clothing, however, it’s being a brand name slave. I already had the Artilleri swimsuit; I wanted to change things up and use something from a different designer for each outfit.
After discussing it with a friend, I ultimately decided on a mix-and-match outfit. While the outfit itself doesn’t exactly scream “tropical”, it is something I would wear to work or a social function here in Hawaii. 🙂
All throughout SL, you will find an abundance of lowrise and ultra-lowrise jeans. Don’t get me wrong, I happen to like lowrise jeans and pants and I own a number of them. Sometimes, though, a girl wants a little more coverage without having to resort to wearing the lower half of a business suit, right? Enter Blaze’s HighWaist Jeans into the picture. They come in a comprehensive 6-color bundle with options, options, and more options. Prim legs, pants layer, undershirt layer, underpants layer, jacket layer… I love it when we’re given all these layers to play with!
The conservative feel of the neutral charcoal colored jeans was balanced out by the sexy bold dark red and plunging V-neckline of the long-sleeve top that comes from ETD’s Red Stripe dress. What’s especially nice about this top is that it comes with a shirt layer that goes under the jacket layer of the top itself, resulting in a looser-fitting sleeve.
Other items included with this outfit: Red Suede boots from SF Design, Angel V hair in Black Pearl from Naughty Designs, Mother of pearl necklace from Caroline’s Jewelry at Lo Lo, and Manicure 04 on the glove layer from =RaC=.
For this category, I was determined to find a gown that would somehow reflect a tropical locale… but how on earth does one go about finding a “tropical” formal gown?? I happily stumbled upon the answer to that question when I took a look at Nicky Ree’s Boutique.
Okay, I actually found two gowns at Nicky Ree that I fell in love with. My first choice was a gorgeous confection of a gown called the Sonata in Fuchsia. It is predominantly a peach-pink gown, but it’s generously accented with yellows, golds, and coppers, and I was immediately reminded of the beautiful sunrises and sunsets that we are regularly treated to here on the Big Island. ^_^ I was convinced that this gown was *perfect*.
Hrmm… well, turns out I was wrong. I can’t tell you how bummed I was when I discovered that the gown did not fit my avi’s skin properly, which brings me to the issue of non-transfer items… but that is for another post. 🙂
Fortunately for me, there was another gown at Nicky Ree’s that was also reminiscent, imo, of the fiery sunsets one can see over the lava fields and deserts of West Hawaii: the Exotic Tangia Ballgown in Red. I’m not exaggerating when I say that the sunsets over Waikoloa and Kona are breathtakingly beautiful; people driving along the highway will literally pull off to the side of the road, in droves, to clamber out of their cars and gawk at all of the oranges, pinks, and reds that streak the skyline as the sun settles into the Pacific.
The gown is primarily a peach color, but has a liberally applied golden sheen that gives it depth. The shape of it is wonderful, too: it has a collar that rings delicately around the throat and tops a very plunging neckline, which in turn draws the eyes down the cleavage-baring bodice to a prim belt that sits at just the right spot to perfectly accentuate the hips, at which point the skirt billows out gently around the legs. In other words, OMGZ this gown is HAWT, hehe. I totally need to find more excuses to bust out this outfit in the future! Dancing, anyone?
Other items included with this outfit: Spring Stilettos in peach from Shiny Things, Tyra hair in Black from ETD, Gold Flexi bangles from the 3 Flexi Bracelets-Gentle Sway set from Caroline’s Jewelry at Lo Lo, Eva Gold Hoop earrings from the 6 Sets: Large Gold & Silver Hoop earrings bundle which is also from Carline’s Jewelry at Lo Lo, and Manicure 06 on the glove layer from =RaC=.
Soooooo… there you have it, the three outfits I chose to wear for the pageant. 😀
All right, now on to the finalists and winner of Miss SL Tropics 2007! Here are the names of the runners-up and their placement:
4th place – Ivette Television
3rd place – Feles Seitan
2nd place – Dendre Benelli
1st place – Leisa DeCuir
Winner – Summer Deadlight
Congratulations to all the ladies who participated in the competition, and to Summer Deadlight. 😀
All right, I have been quite remiss in keeping this blog updated. There’ve been a couple of significant developments/events in my SL experience that I’ve not even mentioned! 😮 So, let’s get cracking:
Several weeks ago, I read an entry at ASpiRE! magazine’s fashion blog announcing a call for entries to a Miss SL Tropics 2007 competition. I have to admit, the whole “tropical” angle of it is what really caught my attention, being that I’m from Hawaii and all. :p
After debating with myself over whether I should submit an entry, I finally decided, hey, why not? It can’t hurt to try, right? So I did my three photos and my notecard:
A few days later, Isabella Sampaio sent me a notice saying I was one of twenty women out of eighty-eight who’d been selected to compete in the pageant! Needless to say, I was pretty stoked, hehe.
So much work goes into these types of events! I mean, I realize I am stating the obvious, but still… the people who are responsible for planning these things are taking on a lot. There are training schedules to juggle, various notecards for twenty-three women to keep track of (the twenty entrants plus the three alternatives selected in case an original contestant must depart for whatever reason), stages/props to be constructed, extras to be hired, etc etc etc.
As for my part, I did some power shopping for my outfits for the contest. There are going to be three portions: Swimwear, Classy Casual, and Formal. Doing this kind of serious, I’m-on-a-mission type of shopping really opened my eyes to a few things that are unique to Second Life, which I’ll discuss in a future posting (since I don’t want to go off on a tangent as I am sometimes wont to do ^_^). There truly are a lot of talented designers out there! With so many beautiful items out there to choose from, it was sometimes difficult deciding.
I also participated in a training session at the contest site, and oh man… I must say, the thing I am most nervous about is LAG. Argh, lag! Laggity lag lag lag, lol. I have had some pretty interesting experiences in SL due to lag — I have seen my avi spontaneously go into Edit Appearance even though I do not have the Appearance dialogue box open; my avi has taken underground walks, seemingly moving of her own volition; she’s wandered around for several minutes at a time while stuck in the “landing” position; the list goes on and on and on as any SL citizen can attest. Anyways, I’m worried about lag causing me to walk off the stage, which is set over the ocean. Hrmm, oh well! What can you do, huh? It is what it is, just need to cope :p
The best part of this whole experience so far has been meeting the other people involved in Miss SL Tropics. The ladies who are competing are more than just pretty avatars; they are a friendly, funny crowd of strong women with all sorts of fascinating backgrounds, interests, and stories. That, to me, is one of the biggest draws of SL: meeting people I would’ve otherwise never intercepted in my lifetime and attaining new friends. 🙂
The competition is going to be held in just a few hours from now. I am excited and yet also a bit nervous 😀 Okay, time for me to log in and get myself ready. This is going to be fun!
My Miss SL Tropics photoset on flickr: click here
I’ve started a deviantART account, where I’ll be posting some of my retouched SL images. Here is the URL to my deviant page: http://melaniekidd.deviantart.com/
Do you have a deviantART page? If so, please let me know? Pretty please with strawberries on top? :p So that I can stalk you your images on a regular basis.
Here are a few of the images I’ve posted on my deviant page so far:
Gogo filmed this machinima this morning with Kol, Wilma, and me. Here are the results 😀
Music is Don’t Stop by ATB.
Here are some still shots I took while we filmed, too…
I’ve been reading the Harry Potter series at the urging of a friend who is a fan; I’m currently on Book Five (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix).
I never would’ve guessed I’d enjoy them as much as I have been! They are not terribly difficult reads since J. K. Rowling had a young audience in mind, and one could easily finish a book in a day or two. The world found within these stories, however, is one that’s wonderfully fleshed out and full of dynamic characters and relationships.
Small wonder, then, that there is a fairly large role-playing community within Second Life that is centered around Hogwarts, the legendary School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in which most of the Harry Potter books are set. The Hogwarts sim has the Leaky Cauldron, Hogsmeade, Wizard Alley, the school castle (of course), and even an amazing quidditch pitch on which actual games are held.
As is the case with any visually-oriented role-playing game, dressing your character is important in maintaining the authenticity of the experience. My friend Vivienne told me about Winter Moon’s Hogwarts uniforms, and they look great. Uniforms for all four Houses are included in the one pack, and includes slacks, flexi skirt w/ glitch pants, sweater, and robe w/ skirt.
To complete my avi’s Hogwarts look, I also put on a pair of grey socks and my ETD color-scripted ballet flats, and altered my shape to one more appropriate for a 4th year student. The glasses are from NeaBan and the hair is also from ETD.
I took various online quizzes to figure out which House I belong to Want to know which House you would get sorted into? Take this quiz to find out, it’s the best one out there that I know of. I got sorted into Ravenclaw! 😀 What’s particularly interesting about this quiz is that it not only tells you which House you should be in, it also tells you how compatible you are, in terms of percentages, with the other Houses. I was told my next most compatible House is Hufflepuff, and after that I am equal parts Slytherin and Gryffindor. 😮
The sorting hat says that I belong in Ravenclaw!
Said Ravenclaw, “We’ll teach those whose intelligence is surest.”
Ravenclaw students tend to be clever, witty, intelligent, and knowledgeable.
Notable residents include Cho Chang and Padma Patil (objects of Harry and Ron’s affections), and Luna Lovegood (daughter of The Quibbler magazine’s editor).